County With Highest Unemployment Rate Is Now Decreasing

Unemployment rates go up in almost all Kentucky counties in the last year.

Magoffin County tops the unemployment list with the highest rate statewide.

The news isn't all bad, they are also one of the counties where unemployment rates are decreasing

Magoffin County's unemployment rate dropped from almost 12% in June to 10.7% in August.

Leaders credit new coal jobs in the area and say it is a step in the right direction, but they still need more jobs to make a difference.

Magoffin County leaders say not enough jobs is the number one issue in the county.

They do not like having the highest unemployment rate in the state, but are pleased it dropped in the last three months.

“We're tickled to death we dropped a full percentage point, but we're not happy, we're still at 10.7. we have a long way to go,” Judge Executive Dr. Charles Hardin said.

Leaders credit coal companies opening in the county and hiring people for the rate decrease, but say it is not enough for the long run.

“We have to look beyond that at the service industry jobs that are good paying and manufacturing jobs that are good paying and attempt to educate and develop the infrastructure where we can have those types of industries in here and go beyond the traditional mining that we've been used to and accustomed to,” Senator Robert Stivers said.

Officials are recruiting new industries to get new jobs.

They added water and sewer lines and upgraded land sites to attract new companies and say several are interested.

“The potential is good, but it is still just a potential,” Senator Stivers said.

Leaders are looking at the positives.

“I think the fact that we improved in this time period with the economy as bad as it is, was a real plus in our favor. At least we're on the right direction and hopefully we can keep that momentum in the right direction going,” Dr. Hardin said.

Their goal is to see everyone in the county with a paycheck.

Several other eastern Kentucky counties are in the top ten for unemployment - Jackson, Clay, Wolfe, and Harlan Counties are on the list.


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